There's not much that hasn't been long since said. You've seen his Stanford commencement speech, of course.
Powerful events like this align the people of the world to feel, in some small way, as one. At least, we're all tweeting the same thing. And these days, the world can align very, very fast. We put up little resistance. It's frictionless, yet we hope it's not tractionless.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb: "Modernity: conversations can be more and more completely reconstructed with clips from other conversations taking place at the same time on the planet."
More now than ever, a single man can wield outsize power over the world; more people find themselves more dependent on fewer. And to think that our generation only witnessed his second act. We missed his exile from Apple, his felix culpa. And don't forget Pixar.
F. Scott Fitzgerald: "There are no second acts in American lives."
His legacy is no longer his to control; he belongs to the ages. Already the misattribution of quotations has begun. His name will be invoked in the name of all manner of causes that he may or may not have supported (even in this very article).
Milan Kundera: "Before we are forgotten, we will be turned into kitsch. Kitsch is the stopover between being and oblivion."
But the man implored us to think different. So let's talk about cancer.
Edward Abbey: "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell."
Cancer is a peculiar killer. It's probably one of the oldest, and it'll probably be one of the last. An overabundance of microscopic life leading to macroscopic death. As our futurists look to metastasize to Mars, remember: life unlimited is its own undoing.
John Milton: "Of man's first disobedience, and the fruit of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste brought death into the world..."
The bitten-apple insignia that Jobs made ubiquitous was not a deliberate reference to Adam and Eve, but it might as well be. Apple rejoices in mortality.
No element of Jobs' creation died old; he was merciless. Ask the floppy, the click wheel, the optical disc. Ask translucent candy-colored plastics. For the price of mortality, we get vitality.
Apple's existence has always been based on sweeping out the old. Its new campus, Jobs' crowning triumph, will be built on land bought from Hewlett-Packard. Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard were Jobs' idols when he was growing up. They died, and HP is now pathetic and listless.
How must it feel, gutting the company of your childhood heroes? Somewhere out there right now is the next Steve Jobs, and one day she will gut the sad remains of Apple. Life goes on.
Jobs died too young and cancer is to blame. Yes, let us beat it back, and improve the quality of life and reduce the capriciousness of death. But don't make mortality the enemy. This is the cost. Beware the gerontologists seeking immortality, born that man no more may die.
Steve Jobs: "Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new."
When Jobs said that, it was no mere platitude for those left behind or scared of what's ahead. He was not saying, "we'll settle for a mortal world." He was saying, "given the option, we would choose it."
Everything dies. Rejoice that it does—until dies creation, or death itself.
Doug Bowman: "Siri, tell Steve we'll miss him dearly."